Where can I get a cup of coffee?
Do we have a shredder?
Why do we do it this way?
There are good questions and there are better questions. I’m a fan of Simon Sinek and “Why do we do this?” can be a tender question – whether we’re talking about the annual fish fry or the everybody-join-hands-and-sing-KumBaYah at the end of worship. We take some questions more personally than others.
Good Questions make us especially uncomfortable if our identities are tied up in them. “Why do we use artificial flower arrangements?” feels personal if I head up The Flower Guild. “Why does the choir sing a 5 minute anthem at the end of worship?” sounds like a theological question if I’m the Choir Director asking my choir. It can sound accusatory if I’m the Personnel Chairperson asking the Choir Director.
Here are some questions I would hope all Church Leaders would ask of themselves and their partners in ministry:
- Where did we see transformation in that worship service/chili dinner/mission trip?
- Who or what was transformed?
- Why are we doing this?
The answers point to spiritual growth or spiritual stagnation – or maybe even spiritual death. But it’s an easy way to assess how things are going.
Good questions do make us uncomfortable. As a Visioning Committee member, I witness many exciting “What if?” conversations. The reality often is that a decision made that changes something, as in a worship service, often ends up with win/loss results. Knowing your congregation helps as committees or individuals prayerfully consider introducing new ideas. Spiritual challenge and growth certainly can be very exciting to some and threatening to others. That’s why we pray for guidance.
“What if” is an excellent way to frame our questions. It feels less pointed (when less-pointedness is needed.)
The church I am serving as interim now has a WHY statement instead of a mission statement.
I love this.
“Intelligent people ask questions.” This was a sign hanging in my oldest daughter’s 2nd grade classroom. My daughter is 34, so obviously that has stuck with me. I use it in new commissioner training and moderator training.
Thanks for the great blog on questions!